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  1. #1

    Non-GUI for old machine?

    I have an old HP Omnibook 2100 that is currently running Windows 98. For obvious reasons, I would like to get rid of 98 and install linux. I'm looking for a distribution that:

    -Is non-GUI (text-based interface only)
    -Is compatible with an old machine like this
    -Comes packaged with a C compiler.

    I really don't need much more than this. I'm going to devote this machine entirely to writing code, so my needs are very basic.

    What distribution should I look at?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    NH, USA
    I think debian is a good choice for this, you can have a very lightweight base install then add what you need on top of it. It starts with no gui, just the basic stuff pretty much. If you want there might be a chance you can run a really light gui if you have 64m ram though. I have ubuntu server installed in a VM with fvwm-crystal and it runs in about 45m ram.

  3. #3
    +1 for Debian with a Ratpoison Desktop.
    I refuse to let fear and fear of others rule my life. It puts my humanity at risk.
    Accepting Death is the only way to stay alive.

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Personally, for an older system like this I would install Gentoo. With the minimal install CD you only need a 486 and 64MB of memory. It works very well with a standard console interface, though there are some low-footprint GUI's that you can probably use even on your laptop. That way you can run things like Open Office and Firefox. Since you pretty much build Gentoo from scratch, with only the hardware support you need, it can result in a very small image that runs very fast.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  6. #5
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Boston, MA
    You might want to check out INX, an Ubuntu based command line distro. It saves a lot of leg work hunting down good CLI apps, and is pretty much set up out of the box to be able to watch video and have graphical web browsing out of the box.

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